Our "Reading Meetings" seem to be developing into a small but very committed collection of some of our best and most diverse writers. Each brought and read examples of their own eclectic works. Oddly, there were no poets this time; although there was plenty of poetic and emotion-packed prose.
Peter Frickel, who also brought his wife, Barbara, treated us with the opening segment of a new four-part allegory he is working on. As usual, Peter's prose is nothing short of poetic, even when he is writing about such mundane events as planting seeds, talking with frogs, feeling the wind, and smelling the sun-warmed soil. Peter has the ability to turn each of his many and varied life experiences into a finely wrought piece of art.
Gayle Harpan was a teacher for 30 years in the gnarly, profane, and hope-deprived inner-city area of Detroit. What she shared with us was the opening chapter of her memoir about the highs and lows, the satisfactions and disappointments, and the uplifting rewards that came from those three decades of experience. The opening chapter that she read from is titled "The Interview" and it illustrated both the uncertainty and the determination she felt as she applied for her first teaching position in Detroit. Gayle also writes books for children.
Dewey Steele loves the water and loves being on the water in a sleek and wind-steered sailboat. But there was a time when boating was new to him. It was a time when he didn't know a cleat from a jib, an aft from a starboard. But he was willing and eager to learn. That's what Dewey's story was about: that first thrilling sail up the Intracoastal Waterway. It, too, was a learning experience that probably set his life on a slightly different course. Dewey expects to write a collection of similar stories, all about sailing, and publish them in a book.
Irv Newman shared another one of his humorous and "down-to-earth" observations that he has compiled in a book that is now available for sale. This vignette had to do with funeral directors, and end-of-life decisions. You say that doesn't sound very funny? Well, you really had to be there and hear it for yourself. As an addendum to his essay, Irv also read to us his very appropriate Letter to the Editor that was published by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. The letter was a tribute to another noted humorist, Art Buchwald, who died some time ago. You say that doesn't sound funny either? Too bad you missed it.
Ed Ellis has a scientific turn of mind. He feels comfortable talking about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the speed of light, the inconsistencies of time, and all sorts of other physics-related topics. But Ed, like Dewey, is also a sailor and a water lover. His story about floating in space and time on a bobbing raft just off the beach, however, illustrated a different side of Ed's writing. It also reminded us locals of some of the things we tend to take for granted: the beach, the waves, the fresh air, the blue skies, and the ambiance of the southwest coast of Florida.
Cecile Bell gave us another peek into the book she is working on. It is a labor of love dedicated to her son who was diagnosed with diabetes at an early age. With the help, support, encouragement, and love of Cecile, her son went on to excel in numerous ways, despite the illness. Cecile's reading was a brief but touching and poignant letter that her young son wrote when he first learned of his illness. Cecile hopes her book will help other parents who have children with chronic illnesses.
I brought another flash fiction piece to read but, alas, we ran out of time. For those interested, you can find it at http://www.alongstoryshort.net/. It's the second on the list of flashes and the title is "Star Power." Hope you enjoy it.
Thanks to Peter, Barbara, Gayle, Dewey, Irv, Ed, and Cecile for making our meeting an enjoyable time of sharing.
Schedule and Location
Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Nokomis Fire Station, located just a few blocks south of Albee Road (where Matthews-Currie Ford is located) at Pavonia Road. We are on the west, or bay side, of U.S. 41, by the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are just north of Dona Bay. Turn on Pavonia and pull to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room on the far side of the complex. Gathering time: 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Finishes at 9:00 pm